ü Today we celebrate the anniversary of the dedication of the Lateran Basilica, the Cathedral of the Bishop of Rome, the Pope.
ü The theme of today’s readings is the church, the community of the faithful, of the followers of Jesus.
ü This community symbolized in the material building, which provides a space for the community to gather for worship.
FIRST READING Ez 47:1-2. 8-9. 12
Ø Ezekiel describes a poetic and beautiful image of the temple.
Ø Ezekiel is lead and invited by an angel to observe how water flows from the temple.
Ø The angel tells him that this water, which flows from the temple, purifies the earth and even the dead sea, whose waters are extremely salty and lacking in life.
Ø Wherever this waters flows life is born: all sorts of living creatures multiply and live.
Ø Where these waters are present there is abundance of food.
Ø And the trees which are on its side produce fruits.
Ø Which are used as food and as medicine.
Ø These waters give birth to life.
Ø Jesus will tell the Samaritan woman that the water he will give will become in the believer a spring which will well to eternal life.
Ø Paul will write that each one of us is the temple of God.
Ø From this temple, each one of us who are in Christ, life flows out to the world, like it flowed from the pierced side of the crucified Lord.
Ø This is the call, the vocation, the mission of the Church .
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Ps 46: 2- 3. 5-6, 8-9
THE LORD OF HOSTS IS WITH US; OUR STRONGHOLD IS THE GOD OF JACOB.
God is our refuge and our strength,
An ever-present help in distress
Therefore we fear not, though the earth be shaken
And mountains plunge into the depths of the sea
There is a stream whose runlets gladden the city of God
The holy dwelling of the Most High.
God is in its midst; it shall not be disturbed
God will help it at the break of dawn.
The Lord of hosts is with us
Our stronghold is the God of Jacob.
Come! behold the deeds of the Lord,
The astounding things he has wrought on earth.
Ø In the first stanza the psalmist explains why we do not fear, God is our refuge.
Ø In the second one the theme is water. The waters, the river are the cause of joy because God is present
Ø And at the end of the third stanza we are invited to contemplate the wonderful works of God on earth.
GOSPEL Jn 2:13-22
Ø Jesus goes up to Jerusalem for the Passover celebrations.
Ø As he enters into the temple area he sees all those who are doing business “in the name of God” and with the excuse “to help those who need to buy animals for their sacrifices to God.”
Ø How well we know how to give excuses for our behavior, even for that which is not excusable.
Ø We go to the temple to meet God as a community of brothers and sisters in faith.
Ø Jesus shows his indignation
Ø Why is he angry? Because his Father’s house is a meeting place with the Father, a house of prayer of loving conversation with God who creates and recreates us continually, without taking into consideration our selfishness and our forgetfulness.
Ø Trying continually to attract us with bonds of love to overcome our resistance.
Ø John says that his disciples remembered the words of Scripture the zeal for your house will consume me.
Ø Those in authority in the temple, which are called by John the Jews asked for a sign to justify his action.
Ø Jesus has ruined their business, and unmask their false piety, their power and their interest for profit under the appearance of piety and of doing the will of God.
Ø To their question Jesus answers with some mysterious words, but which are clear to us now, he speaks of the temple of his body.
Ø Yes, Jesus is the true and only temple where God dwells and where God and man embrace each other.
Ø This gospel ends saying that after the resurrection the disciples remembered his words and believed in Scripture and in Him.
SECOND READING 1Cor 3:9c-11.16-17
Ø God says to the Community of Corinth that they are the building of God.
Ø Paul has laid the foundation which is Christ himself.
Ø Upon this foundation others continue building, in this way the Church is built over the centuries. We all cooperate in this construction.
Ø Afterwards Paul changes the perspective and says that each one of us is the temple of God where the Spirit of God dwells. This temple is holy, because God is hoy.
Ø For this reason we have to take good care of it and keep building it.
Ø Let us remember that Jesus in the Gospel says that the temple is the house of God, the dwelling place where we can speak to our Father.
Ø In the same gospel of John we read if someone loves me, the Father will love him and we will come and dwell with him.
Ø And toward the end of the book of Revelation when Jesus speaks to the angel, the bishop, of the Church of Laodicea, he says to him that whoever hears his voice and opens the door, he will enter and dine with him
Ø This is a poetic and beautiful way to describe the intimacy to which we are called individually and as a community, the Church.
Today I am going to share with you something that my Religious Institute published. It says:
1. We Dream of a Church...
As a Church we want to be a community of Jesus’ followers:
- Founded in love, interpersonal relationships, dialogue and listening.
- Who loves life because it is a gift from God; showing this love in her joy in spite of sufferings.
- In a constant process of conversion and of a search for God
- Who discovers the inner secret which dwells in her, shows it in the way she lives, and transmits it to others.
- That joins action and contemplation
- That lives in the world, loving it and thus denouncing with her life and words its evils, and at the same time offering the Gospel values.
- That responds to the mandate of Jesus, to go into the whole world and preach the Good News that God is Father, that He loves, welcomes and accompanies us.
- That knows that she is being sent in mission; in a constant effort to give concrete answers to the problems that the world will present to her.
- Centered in the human person; promoting freedom and development, recognizing the human dignity.
- A Church of all because she is universal.
- A Church, a community which has eyes to see the injustices and, like the prophets of Israel, reminds and helps to remember that the earth belongs to all, being herself a clear witness of poverty.
- Samaritan woman that understands her world, that pours oil and wine over the wounds of so many persons who are abandoned on the margins of the roads of life.
- In a word, a Church who shows the face of Christ, a Church clothed only with the Gospel.
(Claret &París, Two Pens Moved by the Same Spirit. Called to Renew the Church, IV, 4 p. 178.)
CLARET, Antonio María Claret, Autobiografía.
MUÑOZ, Hortensia y TUTZO, Regina, París y Claret: Two Pens Moved by the Same Spirit, 2010.
PAGOLA, José A. El camino abierto por Jesús. PPC 2012
PARIS, María Antonia, Autobiografía
LA BIBLIA DE NUESTRO PUEBLO, con comentarios de Luis Alonso Schökel, 2010.
LA BIBLIA, traducción tomada de la página web del Vaticano.
LA BIBLIA DE NUESTRO PUEBLO. Texto de Luis Alonso Schökel.